Feather Ruffling



Lets Ruffle some Feathers.
Lets Ruffle some Feathers.

I was contacted by a young Man who wanted to know about my training methods, after a couple of correspondences he asked why I do not have “Sparring Class’s” like other Wing Chun Schools in my area, his point being, as he mentioned in his Email, that without Sparring how can you be ready for a “Real Fight”.

Here is one of my replies to him…..

“Most Schools these days are ran by people that have never had a fight, they do not really understand what they are teaching, in a Street Situation the Bad Guy does not care what you know, he does not care what style you do, he just wants to hurt you, this is reality, a Street Event very rarely lasts more than 5 seconds, not long enough to think things up.
Sparring is all about Fear Management, not fighting, and as such it is a good Tool, but a Street Situation is not a game you play with a training partner, it is a serious attempt by a Bad Person to do something to you that you do not want to be a part of.
If you think that there are 2 people involved in a Fight then you are thinking about Sport, in the Street there is only one person, the Bad Guy, he is attacking you and you are just trying to deal with it.
 Unless you are stupid, or Batman, you do not want to be there.
I Boxed as a young Man and I can really recommend it, the Sparring is very real and intended to be Physical and teach you about being hit, the whole process is about stepping into the Ring with someone you know intends to hurt you, this is Character building stuff, Sparring teaches nothing, especially the pretend stuff that most M. A. Schools do.
 But if you are like most people the thought of getting hit hard is not very pleasant, that is why people do other styles instead of  Boxing and pretend that it is real. 
If you are serious take up Boxing it will deliver everything you are talking about.
Good Luck.”


What most Martial Artists that do a “Traditional Asian Martial Art” believe to be Sparring is in fact just play fighting, they believe Sparring to be a test between two equals to try out their Skill, this is not Sparring, this is in fact a Match Fight, but instead of going in with intention of hurting their opponent they go in with intention of “not hurting their opponent”, or at least with the hope that their opponent will not be trying to hurt them.  In these situations if someone, usually accidentally, lands a good blow everything stops, apologies are offered and if the opponent is actually hurt then it is all over.

How can this be any use to you if someone means you harm?

Sparring, Play Fighting and Street Events may live in the same place in your imagination but they have absolutely nothing in common with each other.

To think that Sparring or Play fighting can be of any use in a Street Event is like thinking that doing the Butterfly Stroke at your local Swimming Pool will save you as you fall off a Cliff.

When talking or thinking about the Martial Arts or just Fighting we all get blinded by our own hopes and wishes, often to the point of self delusion, it can be helpful to look at things from a completely different environment to see the reality of our own situation.

On some levels Bullfighting and Rodeo Bull Wrangling are the same thing it is a Man against a Bull, but on a lot of other aspects there is no similarity at all, pretty much all Bovine Breeds have been selectively bred from the original Stock the long since extinct Aurochs, in time they were selectively bred to carry more Muscle {Meat} and be less Aggressive, other breeds were introduced like the Brahmin again cross breeding to make a less aggressive {Happy Cows get fatter} larger Animal, the Breeding Bulls are selected by their size and good temper, Rodeo Bulls are taken from normal Bovine Stock. At most they are the “Worst of a Good Bunch”.




 Spanish Fighting Bulls on the other Hand although coming from the same common ancestor were selectively bred to be smaller, more agile and much more aggressive, the selection of the Breeding Bulls is usually based on Bulls that have bettered other Bulls in the Paddock, natural selection of the nastiest.

Steer Wrangling is all about using Strength to overcome the Cow [usually a Calf] there is no subtleties just power and dominance, the Steer itself is not attacking, in fact it is trying its best to get away, the Wrangler lasso’s the Steer from a Horse then jumps on it and ties it up, the aim is control and not damage.

In Bullfighting however the Animal is enraged even before entering the Arena, that Rosette on the Bulls back is a Spike driven into its Spine to make sure it is really pissed off, it comes out looking for Blood, the aim of the Torero is to remain composed and redirect the Bulls anger with the Cape, wear it down and then pull out the hidden Sword and deliver the Estocada, the final thrust of the Sword, the Coup de Grâce.

Rodeo Clowns work in the Bull riding Arena, a cowboy attempts to ride a Bull, the Bull is not really into it and eventually throws him off, the Clowns are the Guys that try to get the attention off a pretty pissed of Bull that has just thrown its Rider, the aim is to get the Mad Cow to chase them rather than stomp on the grounded Rider, as dangerous as it is the Clowns have no intention of engaging the Animal, there are usually a team of them and they just try to get its attention and run away {occasionally they fail, the Bull gets them and that is never a good story}, do not get me wrong here, I think these are very courageous Men, you would not get me this close to an angry Bull.


Pass the Special Sauce would you.
Pass the Special Sauce would you.


When a Bad Guy picks YOU, it is like the Spanish fighting Bull coming out of the Pens looking for blood, I am certain you can see that if you try to ride this Baby or if you jump on it from a Horse you will be a long way from coming second.

A Street Event is just like facing a Spanish Fighting Bull, the question is what are you training to be, a Matador, a Wrangler or a Rodeo Clown and why on Earth do you think  the Bad Guy even considers your training.




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